Manchester United have called time on their search for a new director of football, two years after looking to recruit someone for the role.
During José Mourinho’s final transfer window at the club, United’s transfer strategy felt a little skewed and confused, so it was decided that the Red Devils would try to bring in a new director of football to bolster their recruitment.
Since that day, about 1,000 names have been thrown up, from Lille mastermind Luís Campos to United‘s own Darren Fletcher, but The Athletic note that the search for a new director is now over and nobody will be given the role. Right.
The reasoning behind that decision is that United’s backroom structure is not the same as at other clubs. They already have people in charge of recruitment, manager selection and negotiating, and they don’t feel it is necessary to introduce a new face.
So, if that’s the case, why did they even start looking for a director in the first place? Was Mourinho’s final transfer window so bad that it left everyone at Old Trafford confused about their purpose in life?
Liverpool FC v Manchester United – Premier League
At United, it’s all about keeping with tradition. In the past, Sir Alex Ferguson was one of the most powerful managers in football, and the club want to ensure that this power and control is not lost in the future. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be given plenty of control, and anyone who comes after him will enjoy the same authority.
That means that Solskjaer and his team of scouts will have plenty of influence when it comes to transfers, and he will be able to negotiate directly with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward – the man in charge of actually signing players.
Woodward is also the man in control of hiring and firing managers, so United have decided that there is simply no need for a director when all the jobs are taken.
Hull City v Manchester United – Premier League
So it seems that Woodward will remain in control of United’s transfer business for the foreseeable future, which will hardly be the most popular decision among fans.
During Woodward’s reign at the club, questions have been asked about managerial appointments and transfer business, with many supporters growing concerned by decisions like giving Phil Jones a new contract. Fair enough, really.